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London Underground: The huge 'lie' on the Northern line Tube map that most commuters will have missed

MyLondon 02/12/2022 Rafi Mauro-Benady

With 272 stations scattered across the capital, the Tube is such an essential part of any Londoner's life. But it's not perfect, with some areas (especially south of the river) lacking in stations, some stations too close together to be useful (Leicester Square and Covent Garden) and some interesting quirks on the Tube map.

To make matters worse, there’s a chronic inaccuracy in the representation of a key part of the Northern Line. Kennington Station has now a very popular stop as it’s connected to the newly-opened Nine Elms, and Battersea Power Station branch.

But you examine the Tube map in that same area, you may be forgiven for concluding that Elephant and Castle Station is far nearer to Kennington Station than it is Borough. But you’d be wrong, Elephant and Castle is almost four times closer to Borough than it is Kennington Station - this works out to around 100 metres.

READ MORE: All the Tube, London bus and National Rail weekend closures on December 3 and 4

The geography is all messed up © Transport for London The geography is all messed up

The reason for the illusion is that Elephant and Castle sits on the border between Zones 1 and 2. So should the station be shifted nearer to Borough, then the boundary would also have to move which would be a logistical nightmare.

It would also frustrate the parallel with fellow zone border station, Vauxhall (which sits on the Victoria Line). The creators of the map therefore had to compromise and put Elephant and Castle within a stone’s throw of Kennington.

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